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Bay Area dog owners are asking the National Park Service to investigate why a park ranger used a Taser on a dog owner in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area near Montara over the weekend. According to a Montara resident who witnessed the confrontation in the Rancho Corral de Tierra open space area on Sunday afternoon, a female ranger had detained the dog owner for walking his two small dogs without a leash.
“The man she was citing had already leashed his dogs and provided her all his personal information,” Michelle Babcock said in a statement. “The park ranger was very rude and told him he could not leave until she heard from her base,” she said. According to Babcock, the dog owner repeatedly asked why he was being detained, and eventually told the ranger to cite him or he was going to walk away.
“He started to walk away and she told him that she would Tase him if he walked another step,” she said. The man turned and the ranger deployed her Taser, causing the man to fall to the ground, Babcock said. Advocate groups for dog owners — such as Montara Dog and DogPAC of San Francisco — have asked the NPS to investigate the incident and cease ticketing dog walkers in Rancho Corral de Tierra.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area officials issued a statement today saying that they shared the public’s concern and have initiated a review of the incident. According to the statement, the incident began as a “routine educational contact” on the rules regarding dog walking but grew into a more serious situation when the dog walker provided false information to the ranger and refused the ranger’s repeated orders to remain at the scene while his identity was confirmed.The 3,800-acre property was transferred to the park service by the Peninsula Open Space Trust in December.
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